By Claire West
Ed Miliband is delivering a very clear message to the banks at Labour's Annual Conference telling them that the next Labour government will break them up by legislating to split high street from casino banks.
Ed Miliband said:
“Either they can do it themselves - which frankly is not what has happened over the past year - or the next Labour government will, by law, break up retail and investment banks.
The banks and the Government can change direction and say that they are going to implement the spirit and principle of Vickers to the full. That means the hard ring-fence between retail and investment banking.
We need real separation, real culture change. Or we will legislate.
If they don’t do it voluntarily, embrace the change Britain needs, then we are going to have to do it by law.”
The last year has reinforced the need for change. The Libor interest rate scandal and the revelations about PPI mis-selling show how important it is to achieve real culture change. Making that a reality means tackling the infection of retail banking by the culture of casino banking.